Archive for the ‘soccer’ Category

#3-Who is the world’s best defender?

April 16, 2008

In soccer, a defender is a leader for his team. In order to be successful, he’s required to show courage, bravery, and smart wits. However, one question always arises amongst defenders. Who is the best? Many big names come to mind once this is asked. In Italy, Alessandro Nesta is most likely the popular candidate. In Spain, Sergio Ramos, Carlos Puyol, Eric Abidal, and Dani Alves are all superstars of the game. Real Madrid’s Fabio Cannavaro had won the world player of the year award in 2006, but in my opinion, he’s not even close to being at the top level. Lastly, in England, Jamie Carragher, William Gallas, and Rio Ferdinand are well known names. For me though, the best defender in the world lies not only in England, but in its heart, in London. At Chelsea, John Terry is the best defender on the planet. Full of courage, leadership, dedication, commitment, and the will to win, he displays all of the aspects and much more for what completes a great player. 

 

#2-UEFA Cup Quarter Finals

April 10, 2008

Out of the first four legs, 3 ended in ties. This made the second legs highly anticipated. Zenith Saint Petersburg won the first match 4-1, away from home to Bayer Leverkusen. Therefore, everyone already practically knew they were already qualified. Bayer Leverkusen gave a heroic effort in Russia but could only win 1-0, keeping it 4-2 on aggregate for Zenith. The next match saw 2 teams formerly in the UEFA Champions League, but knocked out in the group stages. Sporting Lisbon and Glasgow Rangers tied 1-1 in Scotland. However, being the favorite, Glasgow won the second game 2-0 to go through to the semis. The third match saw Italy’s Fiorentina pull off a memorable performance. Having tied 1-1 at home, they went and defeated powerhouse PSV Eindhoven 2-0, in Holland. Fiorentina’s French goalkeeper Sebastian Frey once again pulled heroics with a critical penalty save. The last match was one that will be remembered throughout the ages. The first leg between German giants Bayern Munich and rising Spanish powerhourse Getafe had finished all squared at 1-1. With a man down, Getafe took the lead. However, France’s playmaker Ribery tied for Bayern in the last minute. The game was in overtime and Getafe scored 2 goals in one minute to make it 3-1. Bayern though, would not give up. 5 minutes before the end they made it 3-2 and in the last minute 3-3. WIth 3 away goals, Bayern miraculously went through to the semis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1-French National Team

April 7, 2008

May 18th will be a crucial day for French football. That specific day, France coach Raymond Domenech will finalize his choice for the 23 men roster that will go to the Euro 2008 tournament this summer in Austria and Switzerland. Every player dreams to be selected to play for their national side, for they get to represent their country in what is Europe’s finest competition. Like the World Cup, the Euro happens once every 4 years. However, most Europeans see this prestige tournament as a trophy harder to win than the World Cup itself. France, for example, will play in a dangerous group alongside Italy, the Netherlands, and Romania. No group in the World Cup has ever been close to being that challenging. Therefore, the 23 players chosen by Domenech will have to be the best 23 French players in professional football. Who will they be? We’ll just have to wait and find out.

 

 

 

   

#4-Champions League Quarter Finals

April 2, 2008

The 1st legs of the UEFA Champions League quarter finals were played this tuesday and wednesday. On tuesday, Manchester went to Rome to face AS Roma in what was a rematch from last years competition. Having lost in Rome last year, Manchester dominated the game in every aspect and took a comfortable 2-0 lead for the 2nd leg. Germany’s Schalke 04 faced giants FC Barcelona. Being the heavy favorites, the Spaniards won the match 1-0 to give them a much needed away goal. On wednesday, Arsenal and Liverpool faced off in an 100% English fixture in London. The game was tight and therefore ended in a 1-1 tie which gave Liverpool the slight advantage thanks to their away goal. However, in the previous round, Arsenal had won away from home to clinch qualification. In the last match, Chelsea could not overcome Fenerbache in Turkey, as they went down 2-1.     



champions_league_logo.jpg 

#3-French League Cup Final

March 29, 2008

Yesterday March the 29th, RC Lens and Paris Saint Germain faced off at the giant and legendary Stade de France in Paris for the French League Cup final. With both teams having a difficult year, this new trophy would definitely help the winner, who would also win an automatic qualification to the UEFA Cup next year. The first half was Paris SG’s as the opened the scoring in the 19th minute thanks to a smart lob by their emblematic Portuguese captain Pedro Miguel Pauleta. The second half, however, belonged to Lens who quickly equalized in the 52nd minute. Paris SG made some substitutions late in the half and this paid off as they dominated the last 10 minutes. As the game seemed destined for extra time, Paris SG were awarded a penalty in the 93rd minute. Bernard Mendy didn’t tremble as he comfortably scored to send a club, city, and nation of supporters into sheer heaven.                                                           300308_coupe_joie_paris_trophee.jpg 

#1-Who is the best soccer player in the world?

March 12, 2008

Who is the best soccer player on the planet? This question is the start to numerous debates around the world.  The midfielders and forwards get most of the votes, for they are the ones who score the goals. Lionel Messi, the Argentinian who plays for Barcelona, is a popular candidate for the best player nomination. Another player is last years Golden Ball and Fifa world player of the year winner. The Brazilian who plays for AC Milan won the Champions League last year, and even finished top scorer of the competition with 10 goals. However, in my opinion, Manchester United’s Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is without a doubt the best player in the world. He’s the current top scorer in the English Premier League with 21 goals in 24 games. In addition to that, he’s also the current top scorer in the Champions League with 6 goals in 7 games. He surclasses everyone else with his fantastic ability to dribble and score.                  cristianoronaldo.jpg 

#1-French League Cup

March 1, 2008

This week, the semi-finals of the French League Cup were played. Out of the 4 teams, 3 were positioned in the bottom of the league table. Le Mans were the favorites to attend the final. 4th in the league, they faced strugglers Lens. The match turned out to be an outstanding display of skills and goals. After 90 minutes, the game was deadlocked at 4-4. As it went into extra time, Lens stole the winner in the 119th minute, one minute before the penalty shootout, to make it 5-4. In the other match, France’s capital club Paris Saint Germain faced Auxerre. Better placed in the table, Auxerre still had to overcome a historical legend, for Paris SG are known to be Cup masters. Out of the last 15 finals, they have been involved in 10. The game was underway and Auxerre was no match for Paris SG, which scored two to make it 2-0 at the half. However, Paris SG goalkeeper Mikael Landreau mishandled a cross and scored an own goal to give Auxerre some hope. 4 minutes after that though, Paris SG scored a third. In the end, the match ended 3-2.       


coupe_de_la_ligue.jpg 

#4-Champions League 1st Knockout Round (2)

February 21, 2008

The second day of the 1st knockout round of Europe’s most prestigious club competition was played yesterday. 4 games were played with a total of 12 goals scored. Six time in a row French champions Lyon faced current English champions and England’s most successful club ever, Manchester United. Karim Benzema, Lyon’s 20 year old rising star, scored 55 minutes in with a wonderful left footed shot of the post. However, 3 minutes from time, Argentina’s Carlos Tevez volleyed the ball in the back of the net to end the game in a 1-1 tie. In 2 other games, Turkey’s Fenerbache beat off Spain’s Sevilla 3-2 with an 87th minute goal, while another 3-2 game occured as Barcelona won away to Celtic Glasgow. In the last match, England’s Arsenal faced AC Milan of Italy. The youngsters from London played a tough game against the experienced Italians. They even hit the crossbar in the 94th minute. However, neither team could score and this left many viewers anxious for the second leg.   

90362.jpg 

#3-Champions League 1st Knockout Round (1)

February 20, 2008

The 1st knockout round of the Champions is currently being played. Yesterday, 4 matches took place. Since all teams can be considered “good” teams, only 6 goals were scored. Also, these are two game fixtures, so at this moment it is unknown which team will go through to the quarter finals. Schalke 04 of Germnay faced Portugal’s strongest and most successful club, FC Porto. Kevin Kuranyi of Germay scored the winner in the 4th minute for the 1-0 win by Schalke. Greek champions Olympiakos held English side Chelsea to a scoreless draw. AS Roma of Italy nudged a one goal advantage for the next leg in a 2-1 win versus Spanish giants, and the most successful club in the history of the Champions League, Real Madrid. The last match was the most awaited of all on this day. English giants and last years finalist, Liverpool, faced Italian giants and champions Inter Milan. Materazzi of Inter received a red card on the half hour mark. This gave Liverpool a big advantage which proved decisive in the end. In the 85th minute, Holland’s Dirk Kuyt scored what seemed to be the winner. However, 5 minutes later, English star and team captain Steven Gerrard added a second to send the reds into the second leg with a two goal advantage. The second leg is highly anticipated by fans throughout the world.   

champions-league-cup-762544.jpg 

English Premier League

February 5, 2008

There is a huge constant debate on what the best professional first division soccer league in the world is. In my opinion, it has to be Barclay’s English Premier League. To start out, they have four top flight teams which are always battling for the season title and the Champions League as well. These teams are Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. In addition to the following, the English league contains many European Cup class teams such as Bolton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Tottenham, West Ham United, Everton, and Manchester City. Another thing about the English Premiership is that it is very multicultural. A few star players such as Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are English. However, most of the Premiership’s talent is foreign, in the likes of Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ukraine’s Andrei Shevchenko.  epl_600.jpg